Cliché shots are images of subjects or compositions that are so overused that they have lost their meaning or substance. Everyone has taken a cliché shot at one time or another. When we are starting to learn to the craft of photography, we usually imitate, maybe subconsciously, the images we most often see such as those on greeting cards, postcards, magazines and the like. Orange sunsets over the ocean, smiling babies, wide eyed puppies, flowers with dewdrops, all these have become extremely popular and seem to have become the standard for what is 'good' photography. They are technically sound, clear and sharp, and appear to be well liked by most people; otherwise they wouldn't be so widespread. Therefore, photographers take more of these photos, believing that these shots represent professionalism and the desires of the general public. Therein lies the issue. Not so much in the shots themselves but in the photographer's wish to please other people before himself.
As photographers, we always want to take good pictures. The question is who dictates what is 'good'? Who are you shooting for? If you are shooting for yourself to express your interpretation of the truth of what you see around you, then cliché shots should be avoided because they can slowly drain your creativity and imagination. Following convention will make you lose your individuality and you could end up lost among the thousands of other photographers who are taking thousands of the same shots as yours.
However, if you are taking photographs for other people, such as selling your photos to a client, then it would be best to keep the client's interests above your own. If they want you to take cliché shots of the bridal dress backlit against a window or a close up of their smiling baby, then do so. What is cliché to everyone else will not be cliché to them because that is their own bridal dress, that is their own baby and that is what makes it special and unique. The best thing to do would be to take cliché shots and make them your own. Find a way to express your creativity within the limits of the client's demands and that will set you apart from the rest of the herd.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 at 3:07 pm and is filed under Articles, Photography Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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